Feds re­ject idea to toll I-80

The Times-Tribune - - Capitol Watch -

The Fed­eral High­way Administration, rul­ing in Septem­ber 2008, re­jected the Leg­is­la­ture’s plan to raise $1 bil­lion a year to fund trans­porta­tion projects by turn­ing In­ter­state 80 over to the Penn­syl­va­nia Turn­pike Com­mis­sion and build­ing toll booths along its length.

The FHA ques­tioned whether the Turn­pike’s pro­posed pay­ments to Pen­nDOT re­flected an “ob­jec­tive mar­ket valu­a­tion” of the high­way. “There is sim­ply no ev­i­dence that the lease pay­ments are re­lated to the ac­tual costs of ac­quir­ing an in­ter­est in the fa­cil­ity,” the FHA said at the time. One op­po­nent of the plan, Repub­li­can U.S. Rep. John Peter­son of Penn­syl­va­nia, re­sponded to the rul­ing:

“The ‘closed for busi­ness’ sign has been re­moved from Penn­syl­va­nia.” Demo­cratic Gov. Ed Ren­dell urged law­mak­ers to con­sider leas­ing the turn­pike to a pri­vate firm, an­other plan that died.

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